Friday, December 4, 2015

An Exciting Discovery

I recently ran into Kevin Butler's website,, which has a killer video on the Jerome Gambit. As an introduction to the opening, a refresher on main lines and side lines (including the Blackburne Shilling Jerome Gambit), or an exciting travelogue, it is well worth the 16 1/2 minute investment. I recommend it highly.

The website also has a whole lot of chess content available, some for (paid) members only, including sections on basics, openings, strategy, endgame, puzzles, famous games, practice and traps.

The Jerome Gambit video (as well as a lot of others from the website) is also on YouTube under thechesswebsite, and it has been viewed almost 12,000 times in the week since it has been posted. 

Check it out.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Stuff of Nightmares

Bill Wall's latest Jerome Gambit is the stuff of nightmares - for his opponent. Toward the end of the game, checkmate threats abound. I have given in the notes some that Bill has mentioned, but you might want to test yourself and see what you can find. Take a look.

Wall, Bill - Tsyalex, 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qd5+ Ke8 8.Qxc5 d6 9.Qe3 

So far, a routine Jerome Gambit position, appearing 221 times in The Database, starting with Charlick - Mann, corr, 1881 (1-0, 72).

9...Qf6 10.O-O

An alternate is 10.d3, from Wall,B - G3LC,, 2011, which I have mentioned before, but not given the moves to, so I will do so now: 10...Nh6 11.Nc3 Ng4 12.Qg3 h5 13.h4 Rf8 14.Nd5 Qxf2+ 15.Qxf2 Nxf2 16.Rf1 Ng4 17.Nxc7+ Kd7 18.Nxa8 Rxf1+ 19.Kxf1 b6 20.Bg5 Bb7 21.Nxb6+ axb6 22.a4 Black resigned

10...Bd7 11.d4 N8e7 12.f4 Qh4 13.c4 Rf8 

A (pawn) storm is coming, and Black begins to think about shelter for his King (by castling-by-hand).

14.f5 Nh8 15.b4 Nf7

More prudent might have been 15... Kf7.


You have to know that this is going to end poorly for Black, even with his lead in development. It reminds me of "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones:

Oh, a storm is threat'ning
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away

16...Rh8 17.Nc3 c6 18.c5 Kd8 

Maybe the King will be safer on the Queenside?! I don't think so.

Bill gives a couple of alternatives: 18...dxc5 19.bxc5; and 18...d5 19.Rf4 Qh6 20.exd5

19. cxd6 Nxd6 20. Qd3 Kc7 21.Bf4 g5 

Black works on his counter-attack, but it does not distract Bill.

22.Bxd6+ Kxd6 23.d5 cxd5 24.f6 Ng6

No 24...Nc6, as Bill points out: 25.Nb5+ Ke5 (25...Ke6 26.Qxd5#) 26.Qxd5 checkmate. 

25. Nb5+ Bxb5 

Avoiding Bill's 25...Kc6 26.Qxd5+ Kb6 27.Qc5+ Ka6 28.Nc7 checkmate. 

26.Qxd5+ Kc7 27.axb5 Rad8 

28.Qc5+ Kb8

Bill: 28...Kd7 29.Rad1+ Ke6 30.Qc4+ Ke5 31.Rf5 checkmate. 

29.Qxa7+ Kc8

Or the gruesome line Bill shared: 29...Kc7 30.b6+ Kd7 31.Qa4+ Ke6 32.Qb3+ Ke5 33.Ra5+ Kxe4 34.Qc4+ Ke3 35.Ra3+ Kd2 36.Qa2 checkmate. 

30.Qa8+ Kc7 31.Rac1+  Kd6

31...Kb6 32.Qa5 checkmate
31...Kd7 32.Rcd1+ Ke6 33.Qa2+ Ke5 34.Rf5+ Kxe4 35.Qe6+ Ne5 36.Qxe5 checkmate 

32.Rcd1+ Ke5

32...Ke6 33.Qa2+ Ke5 34.Rf5+ Kxe4 35.Qe6+ Ne5 36.Qxe5 checkmate
32...Kc7 33.b6+ Kxb6 (33...Kc6 34.Qa4+ Kxb6 35.Qa5+
Kc6 36.Qc5#) 34.Qa5+ Kc6 35.Qc5 checkmate 

33.Qa1+ Kxe4

33...Ke6 34.Qa2+ Ke5 35.Rf5+ Kxe4 36.Qe6+ Ne5 37.Qxe5 checkmate 

34.Qb1+ Ke3 35.Rf3+Ke2 36.Qc2+ Black resigned

Monday, November 30, 2015

My Bodyguard!?

Ah, yes, the second round of the Italian Game Tournament. Not a Jerome Gambit in sight, with one White left to come.

The pattern continues: I toss out 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 only to meet 3...Nf6. Carelessly, I continue with 4.Nc3, hoping for 4...Bc5 and then 5.Bxf7+!?. Nope.

In all my games with Black I have played 3...Bc5, willing to face the Jerome, but each time I have been met with 4.b4, the Evans Gambit.

Interesting. My opponents with Black seem unwilling to allow me to play the Jerome Gambit - a technical win for them, at least in theory - because they are afraid I might play the Evans? (There's a joke about the Evans Jerome Gambit around here, somewhere...)

The Evans Gambit, my new bodyguard!